World number three Casper Ruud would like to see the Netflix tennis docu-series Break Point look more at on-court competition, but Maria Sakkari was glad she opened up on the show.
“I hope that next season we will get a little bit more actinon court and not maybe as much other things,” said Ruud, whose run to the 2022 French Open final was featured in one episode.
Ruud said he made a conscious decision not to reveal too much of his personal life before the cameras.
But he said the show did capture the ups and downs players face — including a provoking moment at the French Open when grounds crew, fearing rain, would not let him warm up before his semi-final.
“I was quite angry,” he said. “They said that it was supposed to rain, it wasn’t raining when we arrived on court. That was the sort of hiccup and the argument that was ongoing.
“I don’t know if it was good or not but Netflix was there catching it all. I was getting more and more frustrated because they just refused us to play even though it wasn’t raining.
“I’d almost forgot that happened because it was a big week for me, a big tournament. I reached my first final at a Grand Slam, and that little hiccup was not what I was thinking about, you know, when the show was going to come out.
“But it was a little bit funny also seeing back on what can happen sometimes for us. It’s not always a smooth ride.”
He would have liked to see more of the tension he felt facing two Scandinavian opponents, including his comeback from two sets to one down in the third round to a Finnish foe.
Greece’s Sakkari, whose run to the 2022 Indian Wells WTA final was covered in one episode, was forthcoming about the difficulties of the mental side of the game and said she thought it was right to open up.
“I just felt like that if I do it, I want to do it the right way,” Sakkari said. “I don’t want to hide anything. I don’t want to fake.”
She did say the producers “have some kind of charisma or a way to just make you feel, in a good way, like we are friends so you’re having a friendly chat.
“Then once you get to know them a little bit more, then you open up and you feel comfortable just talking about your emotions and how you feel on the tour.
“I just didn’t feel like there was any reason for me to hide and not be transparent and honest on how I felt last year because it was very challenging.
“I’m very glad that a lot of people liked it actually, and I’ve been getting very good feedback.”
– Higher profiles –
Sakkari and Ruud both said being on the show, which has been confirmed for another season, had raised their profiles.
Ruud recalled a woman at a grocery story in Florida, where he was training last month, telling him she and her husband had watched him the night before in the show.
“I haven’t been, like, an overnight worldwide superstar or anything, but I guess some more people in the world have seen the show.
“It’s positive for us if more people know and are interested in tennis.”
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime said he thought the impact was more noticeable in the United States.
“Going to dinner or a grocery store, a lot more people are recognizing me and other players,” he said. “They say, ‘I just watched your episode and I loved it.’